In addition to updating the picture for the 11 “Northern Cluster” countries covered in the 10th issue, Eunomia’s 11th edition of the Residual Waste Infrastructure Review examines the implications of Brexit uncertainties for residual waste treatment in the UK.

Since Issue 10 in May 2016, reductions in residual waste and the development of new facilities have closed the UK’s capacity gap from 12.9m tonnes to 10.2m tonnes.

Under a high recycling scenario, which could result from a ‘soft’ Brexit, the UK’s supply of capacity will exceed the available quantity of residual waste in 2020/21 (or in 2023/24 if the export of refuse derived fuel (RDF) is excluded from the analysis).

The possibility of a hard Brexit, though, might have quite different implications, depending on the policy direction the UK takes. The report considers a ‘worst case’ scenario for resource management, where UK residual waste arisings stay at current levels, despite expected reductions in Scotland and Wales. This creates a difficult environment in which to plan for the right facilities to meet the UK’s needs, and the uncertainty could lead developers to consider additional investment in UK treatment capacity.

Brexit may make exporting RDF less financially attractive, but the surplus treatment capacity amongst the EU Member States to which the UK currently exports appears set to grow as the whole “Northern Cluster” of countries moves towards over capacity by 2026.

This report is available free of charge. Please provide a few details about yourself and one of the team will email you the full report shortly. The appendices to the report can be downloaded here.